With Voyager experiencing frequent attacks from every Kazon sect they encounter, Chakotay offers up a controversial suggestion – perhaps Voyager should try to forge an alliance with them. Despite feeling uncomfortable at the prospect, Janeway decides to bite the bullet and reach out to the Kazon, only to find negotiations difficult.
Alliances is an episode with grand ambitions, a storyline that deserved to be the season finale in place of the tedious Basics, and yet it’s one that sadly overreaches itself by trying to pack everything into a single episode. We start off with Janeway having to act against her own training and morality, segue into two separate strands about attempting alliances with two different sects, before heading off in a completely different direction when the Trabe show up. If the Kazon are working-class scrappers, kept in poverty by an unfair system, then the Trabe seem to be the comfortable middle-class, “our kind of people” to the Voyager crew. An alliance with the Trabe feels like a more natural thing to do, especially when they seem repentant about their race’s previous mistreatment of the Kazon, and keen to forge a new understanding with the sect leaders. Except they aren’t really – the Trabe still think of the Kazon as dangerous animals, and their plan is simply to execute as many Kazon leaders as possible.
Ultimately, the episode ends with Voyager more alone – and having ruffled more feathers – than ever. Still, it’s a moral victory for Janeway, as she gets to say a big “I told you so” to the crew when the alliance plan fails. Stay classy, Captain.
Points of Note
- Just what exactly are Kazon headdresses made of – or is it their natural hair? It looks a bit like rocks and fungus, interleaved with twigs.
- This episode introduces yet another new sect – the Pommar. It is also worth noting that neither the Ogla nor the Relora bother to trouble themselves with this meeting.
- Everyone is sad and distressed that their best friend Kurt Bendera gets killed in this episode – a man so highly regarded that he’s never been more than a nameless background character up until this point.
- In Tattoo, we learnt that Tuvok likes breeding orchids. In this episode we see one of the results of his work.
- Tuvok was alive during the events of Star Trek VI. At the time, he opposed Spock’s proposal of a Federation alliance with the Klingons.
Lost shuttlecraft running total: 4
Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 3
Summary – Alliances: In which a disastrous attempt at peace talks results in Janeway being very smug.